Some of the world’s most polluted cities are in India, and New Delhi is one of them. This is what life’s like there.

Photographer Lasse Bak Mejlvang recently went to India to document the conditions of a country that has a large concentration of the most polluted cities in the world. Mejlvang’s project, titled “Air Like Poison” chronicles the daily conditions that inhabitants of Delhi, India, live, work and play under. Below are some statistics Mejlvang became aware of while working on this project.

At the time of this project, it was estimated that 90 percent of the world’s population breathe highly polluted air. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers air pollution to be the biggest societal heath risk in recent times. It is estimated that more than 7 million people die each year due to the consequences of air pollution. Air pollution now claims more deaths each year than smoking, hunger and natural disasters combined.

In October 2018, WHO published a list of the 10 most polluted cities in the world. Nine of the 10 cities are located in India. With its more than 21 million inhabitants, the capital New Delhi has been at the top of the not-so-well-reputed list for a long period of time. The pollution level in the city is 20 times higher than the recommended levels, and the consequences of the air pollution are now beginning to affect the city’s inhabitants in a very serious way. The air pollution enhances the risk of strokes, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.

The photographer, Lasse Bak Mejlvang, has a background in fashion and portrait photographer. Since 2010 he has been working more and more with reportage photography. For the past 10 years he traveled with his camera telling stories from all over the world. Since 2014 Lasse has been working full time as a freelance photographer, where he primarily moves in the field between portrait and reportage photography. You can see more of his work here.

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